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tv   ABC News Good Morning America  ABC  December 20, 2011 7:00am-9:00am EST

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good morning. blizzard of oz. a powerful storm turns roads into sheets of ice from new mexico to kansas. at least six people have died, dozens rescued and major highways closed. is the worst over? al is live in colorado. lying in state, kim jong-il's body on display in a glass ffin. his son and successor by his side. will the country rally around their new, young leader? is he ready for the job? and the dutchess dazzled. kate middleton sparkles at an award ceremony honoring british soldiers. we'll tell you what happened there that nearly moved her to tears, today, tuesday, december 20th, 2011.
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captions paid for by nbc-universal television and welcome to "today" on this tuesday morning, i'm ann curry. >> and i'm carl quintanilla in for matt this morning. take a look at conditions in garden city, kansas, right now, just one of the cities hit hard by this storm. >> blinding snow and fierce winds as you can see from the flags have combined to make driving nearly impossible across the region. the national guard has already been called in to rescue stranded drivers on one highway in texas. al willt have the latest. a fight to avoid a new year's tax increase for millions of americans. house republicans are moving to extend the payroll tax cut and unemployment benefits for two months. house speaker john boehner says a short-term fix isn't enough. we'll get details from capitol
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hill coming up. we'll also have an exclusive interview with the mother of former "survivor" producer bruce beresford-redman who's in a jail in los angeles fighting extradition to mexico where he is accused of killing his wife. a little later, two big names live in our studio, former president bill clinton and carole king. >> exciting on both counts. but we begin with that major storm that's making travel and nightmare from new mexico to kansas. we'll be talking to al in just a moment. but first the weather channel's mike seidel is in garnden city, kansas, with more. mike, i'm sorry to see you out there in it. what can you tell us? >> reporter: i can tell you it's still snowing and blowing. you get a sense of what happens when you have 50-mile-an-hour winds. we've had drifts as high as ten feet in parts of southeastern colorado. take a look at some of the pictures overnight. actually we had winds clocked in new mexico of 72 miles an hour, up to two feet of snow in parts of new mexico and this has shut down a lot of highways.
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there are blizzard warnings in parts of six states. here the windchills are in the single numbers, some of the coldest windchills we've seen in a rather lackluster december. only 50% of the average snowfall has fallen and only 25% of all the snow we dug out last december. now, these blizzard warnings will last in some areas until noon. once the winds back off, we'll lose that ability of drifting, but still a lot of roads are closed this morning and just about everything is shut down here across the high plains. ann. >> mike, listen, a lot of people who are on the roads that want to travel. what is the advice this morning given this storm about whether people should stay inside instead? >> reporter: people should sit tight. we have parts of three major interstates shut down, i-70 kansas, i-40, a huge stretch from albuquerque to amarillo is closed and i-25 up in northeastern colorado. a lot of secondary roads. here in garden city you can't go south, you can't go west, you to sit tight. remember yesterday a lot of this began as rain and froze so under
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the snowpack is a layer of ice. last night we saw a lot of tractor-trailers, a lot of spinouts, a lot of wrecks. the only thing missing this morning, ann, is al roker. he was supposed to be here. >> let's get to al roker. al was, in fact, heading to kansas as well when mother nature intervened so this morning he's in a very frigid area of aurora, colorado. al, good morning to you. >> reporter: yeah, good morning. we're just outside of denver. what happened, by the time we landed, all of the flights from denver into kansas were cancelled. and so we decided we rented an suv and we were driving i-70, got to limon and they shut down i-70 of the some of the other secondary roads that we could have taken. there's a twitpic that i had sent, whiteout conditions, blowing and drifting snow, so we ended up saying, you know what, the heck with this, let's head back to denver because we did not want to be one of those people you see stranded on the side of the road or in a ditch.
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now here's the deal, we do have winter storm warnings and blizzard warnings out for today for, again, parts of colorado on into also oklahoma, kansas. i mean we've got some rough weather to talk about. look at the latest radar. you can see we still have snow wrapping around this low-pressure system. it is starting to weaken, but here's the track of the storm as it makes its way pushing up to the north and east. as it does, that snow does start to lessen. we'll be looking at about another 2 to 6 inches of snow generally in the areas that already got that snow and then as it pushes north, we're amazingly going to be looking at a lot of wet weather and stormy weather. carl. >> al, i'll talk to you soon and get the rest of your forecast in a bit. in the meantime let's shift to the shift in power in north korea. kim jong-il's body is now lying in state as the world tries to figure out what direction the secretive nation will take now. andrea mitchell has details.
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good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carl. the white house is trying to project calm today in the face of an uncertain transition in north korea, even as officials in washington and south korea acknowledge they had no intelligence kim jong-il had died and been succeeded by his youngest son for two days. kim jong-un, north korea's untested new leader, as the regime tries to carry on the family dynasty. state tv broadcast images continuing its effort to glorify kim jong-il. laid out in a glass coffin, surrounded by his name sacred rose, and party eleeites who shared in his power. they went to lengths to show a mass display of public mourning for the man they called the dear leader, staging a lavish ceremony with hundreds of performers and airing images of what appeared to be battalions of north koreans sobbing almost in formation over kim's death. very little is known about the dynasty's new leader, kim's youngest son, kim jong-un, but
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the u.s. is assuring its neighbors that more than 28,000 american troops on the peninsula will stand with them if needed. >> we reiterate our hope for improved relations with the people of north korea and remain deeply concerned about their well being. >> reporter: kim jong-il's reign of terror lasted 17 years. menacing his neighbors with nuclear weapons, holding his own people hostage with prison camps and starvation. while kim jong-il had years to emulate the personality created by his father, the nation's founder, his youngest son had no warning. does he have the skill to control the military or will he be a figure head? almost nothing is known about him. he's believed 28 years old, educated in switzerland and unlike his father had little time to prepare for his new role. >> one of the questions as we look down the road whether this is going to be a successful leadership transition or whether the regime will simply not be able to hold it together.
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>> reporter: this is a regime that has confounded generations of american presidents, while intelligence failed to anticipate north korea's nuclear progress and missile tests. >> they are going to send signals that they're tough and don't mess with us, so i would expect some more. hopefully not in a way that provokes south korea to respond in kind. >> reporter: kim's death comes just as u.s. diplomats in china were to meet with their north korean counterparts on a new food aid for disarmament agreement that is now on hold. the real worry is loose nukes and there is fear of provocative military action by a young leader still trying to prove himself or a military trying to show its muscle. there's no love lost for the dear leader, as he's called. john mccain said i can only express satisfaction that the dear leader is joining the likes of gadhafi, bin laden, hitler and stalin in a warm corner of hell.
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>> andrea mitchell, thank you very much. former new mexico governor bill richardson previously served as u.s. ambassador to the u.n. and traveled to north korea eight times. governor, good morning. >> good rning, carl. >> you have called north korea a tinder box right now and said the 24 to 48 hours following the announcement of kim's death would be critical. it's been about 36 hours. do you see trouble brewing? >> not yet. so far it looks like the party elite, the people of north korea and most importantly the military leadership is rallying around the son, kim jong-un. the north koreans are very ceremonial, pomp and circumstance, symbolism. the funeral is an indicator that he is being elevated and statements made that he is the leader. the key is going to be whether he in effect is the leader. there could be some power struggles. the concern is that he might
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take some aggressive action to show his mettle as some say he did two years ago when the south korean ship and the island were bombarded. but again i think the early signs is that he's consolidating his leadership, there's a transition going on just as when his father took over from the great leader, buried some 17 years ago, so right now it's too early to tell. >> how would you be advising the oval office at this stage? >> well, so far i believe the administration is doing a good job, calm, collected, no provocations, urge all countries in the surrounding area, china, japan, south korea to play it cool. but i would engage the north koreans if the signs are good that they're going to continue some of the recent thawing that they have done. for instance, i would engage them. i would give them food aid. this is a humanitarian gesture. people there are starving.
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i would encourage the south and the north to continue their dialogue to lessen tensions. i would try to get the six-party talks going again to try to get north korea to reduce its nuclear arsenal in exchange for food and fuel. it's very tough to bargain with them. they're unpredictable, they're mercurial, but what you don't want is to isolate them. this is a country that may have six to eight nuclear weapons, a million men in arms, they have missiles, aggressive. we have 25,000 troops. so it's a tinder box. we've got to be very careful. >> for that reason, governor, the "wall street journal" says the best policy at this point may actually be to get tougher, to isolate further, more pressure, more sanctions and this is not the time, they say, to engage or make any promises or put out any carrots. >> i think that's totally the wrong approach. efforts in the past to isolate them havex,qju)q". they detonated their nuclear
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weapons, they shot missiles, they bombarded the south koreans. i think at a time when there's a transition, reaching out a little bit, after they indicate where they want to go, is the best way to go. dialogue, diplomacy and not isolation. it's not easy to deal with them. they're unpredictable, they don't keep their word all the time, most of the time, but they're a dangerous country. the best thing to do is engage them. >> governor bill richardson, thank you for your time. it is 7:12, once again here's ann. now to the showdown in washington over extending the payroll tax cuts that's set to expire at the end of this year. it's revealing some infighting between republicans on capitol hill. nbc's kelly o'donnell has the latest on this morning. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, ann. you don't see this very often. most senate republicans joined with democrats and the white house to agree on a short-term solution to get past the holidays, but house republicans
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protested loudly, and that's put speaker john boehner in a visible, awkward position where it could look like republicans are messing up a tax cut, and that's all happening with the deadline of a ticking clock. holiday cheer gone sour. >> it's grinch time in washington. mr. speaker. >> another phony crisis courtesy of the extremist bah humbug house republicans. >> reporter: also congress acts, on january 1st working americans would pay higher taxes and jobless benefits would run dry for many long-term unemployed. house republicans who met late monday blasted the senate solution, a two-month extension. >> our members do not want to just punt and do a two-month short-term fix where we have to come back and do this again. >> reporter: republicans say two months is too short to take seriously. >> two months, really? come on. that is really do nothing. what's going to be different in two months?
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>> reporter: both parties set a goal of a one-year extension but that fell short on saturday, when 89 out of 100 senators, democrats and republicans, settled on a two-month extension. republican leaders even high fived. before the senate left washington for the holidays, thinking the house would agree. >> i didn't see the high fiving going on, but i did hear the tune "i'll be home for christmas" coming out of that mix. >> reporter: all this exposed a rift between republicans in the house and the senate. >> we outright reject the attempt by the senate to kick the can down for 60 days. >> reporter: democratic leader nancy pelosi blames the tea party. >> it's just a radical tea party republicans who are holding up this tax cut for the american people and jeopardizing our economic growth. >> reporter: the white house has tweaked republicans, displaying a countdown clock that marks the
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number of days until a tax hike. >> i think americans who are paying attention to this must be pulling their hair out when they look at the house now refusing to do what the senate did. >> reporter: and house leaders say their solution is to bring senators back to washington and negotiate a one-year deal. they say there's still enough time to do that, but majority leader harry reid says, no, he does not plan to bring his people back and that leaves us in an awkward position of not knowing what the next move is. the house could vote today, they're trying to sort that out. >> and the clock is ticking because the end of the year is coming up so fast. kelly o'donnell, thank you so much this morning. let's get a check of some of the other top stories this morning. natalie morales is over at the news desk. >> good morning, carl and ann. good morning, everyone. police in kansas have intensified their search for a college student who disappeared after she made a chilling phone call to her family. kevin tibbles is in chicago with
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the latest. >> reporter: natalie, police have conducted extensive searches around the campus where she was last seen studying for final exams, but so far no sign of the missing student. the 19-year-old college student from kansas has not been heard from since leaving this panicked message on her sister's cell phone. >> oh, my gosh, it was so scary. my heart is like pounding. i've never got this scared in my life. >> reporter: aisha kahn said she had just been accosted by a man who smelled of marijuana and alcohol while studying for finals outdoors at the university of kansas campus in yoefrld park. she said she slapped him and he had run away. >> and he left. and he was so pissed. pick up your phones. i am freaked out right now. okay, bye. >> reporter: her sister returned the call but no answer. shoo drove to the campus and found her books, cell phone and
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it po-- ipod but no sign of ais. >> we have no information that it was an abduction and no information that it wasn't. >> reporter: she was married over the summer. >> i am thankful to everybody to have me out to bring my wife back to home. >> reporter: now there's a facebook page dedicated to finding her. police have gone door to door seeking information as the missing woman's family prays for her safe return. >> keep us in your prayers and think of aisha all the time. you're going to the gas station or the post office, think of aisha all the time. >> we just want her safe back home. >> reporter: aisha kahn's husband said the couple was planning a delayed honeymoon to happen after the final exams. now the family is offering a $10,000 reward for any information to help them find her. >> hopefully seeing this report will get people's attention. kevin tibbles in chicago, thank you. there was a dramatic ending to a police chase near los angeles overnight. officers had their guns drawn
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when the suspect refused to hand over a young girl in the car with him. the child's mother had called to say her daughter was taken after a domestic dispute. police eventually swarmed the man and rescued the child. at&t has scrapped its $39 billion bid to buy t-mobile usa which would have made it the nation's largest cell phone service provider. the company could not overcome antitrust opposition by the obama administration. and it was lights out in san francisco during last night's nfl game at candlestick park. the power failed not once, but twice during the nationally televised game. the 49ers eventually beat the steelers while utility officials tried to figure out what went wrong. pretty unbelievable. people using their cell phones to light up the stadium. it's 7:18, let's turn back over to ann and carl. >> i keep thinking about the journey song when the lights go down in the city. >> i think that's right. that's pretty good.
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all right, natalie, thank you so much. let's now go to al in colorado where it sounds like, al, you've been losing your voice because of your efforts to travel to this bad storm. >> i'm just doing my best andy divine imitation. but let's take a look and show you, we've got another storm system that's going to be affecting the rockies in the next 48 hours. first of all, you can see this system getting itself together and getting out of here. that's the good news as it pushes through. we'll talk about the other system coming up in the next half hour. you can see rain moving into the mississippi river valley ahead of this snowstorm. we've got showers moving into the pacific northwest. that's the next big system affecting things. sunshine in the northeast, although only 39 degrees and sunny in boston today. sunny and 74 along the east coast of florida. that's what's going on around >> good morning. we're waking up to cloudy skies.
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showers are in the forecast at any point in the day. and that's your latest weather. carl. >> all right, al, thanks. take care of that voice. katle middleton is preparin to celebrate her first christmas as a member of the royal family and last night she shined at a ceremony for military heroes. jim maceda is at buckingham palace. good morning. >> reporter: good morning, carl. well, with each public event kate middleton seems to be eating up the cameras and all the attention with both grace and ease and no more so than last night. it's called the night of heroes, a gala awards event at london's imperial war museum to honor
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british soldiers' courage in battle. but the real star of the evening was kate middleton, the dutchess of cambridge dazzled the crowd and cameras with a stunning black velvet dress designed by alexander mcqueen, the same british fashion house that turned out kate's memorable wedding dress. to complete the classic but elegant look, a matching diamond bracelet and earrings and a diamond and ruby necklace, given as a wedding present by a family friend. >> i think kate was making a statement that she's a far more confident royal now that she's been married for half a year. >> accompanied by prince william and harry, the royal tree row stood out in a crowd that included international soccer star david beckham. kate, herself a military wife, was visibly moved as she listened to stories of loss and heroism. >> like any person related or knows anyone serving in the forces, she will feel it in her
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heart and i think that's why we saw her tearing up a little bit and getting emotional. >> reporter: attending her first buckingham palace christmas lunch as a dutchess earlier in the day, she's embraced her new role as a supporter of charities. like william at this rehabilitation center and harry, seen here walking with wounded veterans here recently near the north pole, her very presence at an event can trigger a donor frenzy. it's one reason why kate and william are making their london home at kensington paling palac. for the princes who grew up there it has special meaning. >> kensington palace to them was one of the most exciting places of their childhood. di diana was instrumental in making sure that happened. >> there's more than a touch of diana in the royal family's newest and hottest asset. next up in january, the royal premiere of steven spielburg's new movie "war horse" with so-called golden tickets going for, get this, $15,000 each,
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carl, to see kate and the princess with all those proceeds going to charity. >> thanks, jim. coming up, new details on the reality show producer who's in jail accused of killing his wife in mexico. chris beresford-redman's mother speaks out for the first time in an exclusive interview. first, this is "today" on nbc. i? not yet. i want to buy used but how do you know what you're really getting.
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just ahead the top youtube videos of the year. >> but first your local news.
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>> this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am lisa robinson. the wbal staff is remembering that legendary radio host ron smith this morning. he passed away overnight after a long battle with pancreatic cancer. just weeks ago he decided to retire after more than 20 years at wbal radio. everyone here at wbal extends their condolences to his family,
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friends, colleagues. now let's look at the money to meet with kim dacey. >> we have picked up a crash on the inner loop of the beltway at belair road. that is moved off to the right shoulder. all travel lanes should be clear there. report of a crash and we are checking on that for you. delays around the area. 16 minutes on the out of the west side. nine minutes between the harbor tunnel and fort mchenry. we will give you a live look at the west side of the beltway. you will see delays from liberty road down to edmondson. switching over to a live view of 95 and 395. that is the latest on traffic pulse 11. >> we had some showers overnight. they are still in the forecast
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for today. warm front lifting over the matter is landed. layer of instability moving to the east. forecast for today -- as warm as we are now, that is as warm as we are going to get today. upper 40's to low 50s, mostly cloudy skies. isolated showers a possibility. there is still the slight chance of wet weather. better chance for rain tomorrow. better chance for rain tomorrow.
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all at mind-melting speeds. powered by verizon, this droid is too powerful to fall into the wrong hands. 7:30 now on this tuesday morning. it's the 20th of december, 2011. christmas just five days away and hannukah begins tonight. and we have a huge crowd getting in the holiday spirit out in rockefeller plaza. we're glad they're there and we'll get outside and give some big hugs coming up. meantime inside studio 1a i'm ann curry alongside carl quintanilla. >> toasty is pushing it. >> carl is in for matt this morning. just ahead if you think eating at home will save you money and calories, there's something you
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ought to know. >> it's true. some of your favorite go-to meals at the supermarket could actually be damaging to your diet. coming up, some of the biggest offenders and a few of the healthier alternatives. also just ahead, a pretty remarkable couple. elisa and nathan bond are raising a young daughter. earlier this year, each one of them was diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer, just days apart. the parents' futures look grim so this morning they are back with us and they're going to share some great news tied to their treatment. >> looking forward to that. also we'll unveil the new list of the most popular youtube videos of the year. >> that will be fun. this one is so fantastic and that one too if you have not seen those. stay tuned, guys. >> her we know. plus a special holiday performance from carole king and former president bill clinton will be here to reveal his top books of the year. >> that will be a treat. meantime let's get started this half hour with a last-ditch effort by a former reality show producer to fight extradition to
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mexico where he's been charged with murdering his wife. we'll talk to bruce beresford-redman's mother in just a moment but george lewis has the latest on this story. >> reporter: good morning, ann. bruce beresford-redman has been in a federal detention center since his arrest in november of last year. he's appealing an extradition order that would send him back to mexico to be tried for murdering his wife. it was in the spring of last year when beresford-redman and his family went to a resort in cancun, mexico. monica beresford-redman was reported missing on april 5th and three days later her body was found in a sewer not far from her hotel room. mexican officials say she had been strangled and insists their case against the husband is a strong one. >> they have evidence that he was calling a sex phone line, that his wife found out about, that they were fighting while they were in mexico, that he had scratches on him. >> reporter: mexican authorities say he used his hotel card key to enter the room numerous times on the night of his wife's
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disappearance. he says that's because he was looking for her. monica's family says beresford-redman was an unfaithful husband and was upset that she was threatening to leave him. as far as the scratches go, beresford-redman's attorneys say he got them while enjoying the outdoors with his family. >> so they were outside very active, swimming, hiking, and he sustained some cuts and scrapes. >> reporter: mexican authorities say they told bruce beresford-redman to stay in cancun but that he left for the united states. that's when they filed charges. the sister of mon today beresford-redman says it's been difficult hearing all the details about how she died. >> every time is like the first time. it's awful. it's really hard and sad to see what she's been through. >> reporter: and now monica's family is fighting bruce's parents for custody of her two young children. >> we are the guardians of the children. and that's the essential point.
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the children will be protected as long as we live. >> reporter: bruce beresford-redman's parents say their son wants to tell his side of the story, but federal authorities are preventing any news interviews while he's in custody. legal experts say it will probably be sometime next year before the question of beresford-redman's extradition is settled. if he is tried and convicted in mexico, he could face a prison term of 12 to 30 years. ann. >> george lewis, thank you so much. on monday we sat down for an exclusive interview with bruce beresford-redman's mother, juanita, and began by asking her how the family is doing. >> it's living in a nightmare, but we're healthy and the children are a joy and they keep you going. >> you say that your son would like to speak to the media. >> yes, he would very much. >> but has been prevented. >> yes, the warden will not let
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them in to interview them. >> why didn't he report monica missing the evening she didn't return? >> largely, i believe, because in the first place monica, when she has a day out, she has a day out. she worked nights, as you know, in her restaurant and there were times when she didn't get home until the wee hours. the second and more important reason is he fell asleep with the children. >> and didn't report her disappearance until the next day at 6:00 p.m. to police. that seems a long wait when you're in mexico. >> i don't believe so. i mean he awakened, monica wasn't there. got the children up and dressed and went out to the police. >> how does he explain this report that one of the hotel keys was used to open their room at least nine times between the hours of midnight and 7:00 a.m. on the day of april 6, which is of course the day after he last saw her? >> he was looking for her and then he would come back to check on the children. and he did that numerous times.
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you tend to do that when someone is missing and you're nervous. you look, even though it's useless, but back immediately to check on the children. >> you knew that there were problems in their marriage. what makes you so certain that he is innocent of any wrongdoing? >> bruce himself. he is a good man. he's never been in trouble with the law. he's not a violent person. and despite difficulties in the marriage, everyone has difficulties, usually there's still a great deal of love. and with bruce and monica, their focus has been the children from the beginning. they both adore them. and with everything else aside, there is no way bruce would have taken their mother away from those children. >> was there a great deal of love still in their marriage? >> i believe so. i was in contact with monica before they went on the trip. i was in europe and we skyped a great deal, especially because of the upset, and i was talking to her and sympathizing with her. and she told me -- i asked her do you still love bruce? and she said she thought so. but what they wanted to do was stay together for as long as
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they could because of the children. >> why won't bruce go back to mexico and face the authorities? really try to clear his name? >> many of the states in mexico presume a person is guilty until proven innocent. now, i know a great change is going on in mexico about that, but it is an entirely different justice system and the evidence against bruce is all circumstantial. there is no physical evidence, the crime scene was badly degraded. >> if all that is true it seems he has a better chance of being found not guilty. >> the mexican justice system is a bit of an unknown. i frankly hope and trust that they will do better for him than his own government has done, to be perfectly honest. that they will realize that there is no evidence and they will vacate the warrant so that he can come home. >> meantime, you are with your husband raising the two children. >> yes, i am.
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>> who are now ages 7 and 4. >> that's right. >> how are they doing? >> remarkably well. they have their moments, of course. christmas coming up is a bad time, they miss their parents dreadfully, but they're beautiful, intelligent and sweet children. we do see bruce once a week for an hour. >> what do you tell him in terms of how this might be resolved? >> we have to put our trust in the mexican government. one of the reasons he doesn't want to go to mexico is at the moment he can see his children once a week. not much, but he can see them. we're not going to be able to fly to mexico once a week to see him. and it seems to me as long as he can be close to them, he should be. if eventually he does -- if he is sent down there, then he will face what he has to. but i know he's innocent. he is a good man and of course i trust in him completely. >> juanita beresford-redman, thank you so much for joining us this morning. >> thank you.
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>> and now let's get a check of the weather from al, who is out in aurora, colorado. today's weather is brought to you by kay jewelers. every kiss begins with kay. >> and as we look at what's coming up next for the rockies, we've got another storm that's going to be pushing its way toward us. in fact you can see on the futurecast as it gets itself together makes its way out of the pacific northwest. it will be pushing slowly down to the south and bringing more snow into denver and then it works its way down further and brings more rain and snow. you can see, in fact, by thursday we're looking at anywhere from 6 to 9 more inches of snow through the central rockies into the southern plains. that's what's going on around >> good morning. we have cloudy skies. scattered showers are in the
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forecast throughout the day. forecast throughout the day. they will >> as we get ready for christmas, you want to make sure you check that forecast. go to the weather channel on cable or weather.com online. ann. >> all right, al, thank you so much. coming up, former president bill clinton stops by with his list of the top books to give as gifts this holiday season. also coming up next, healthier alternatives to the supermarket foods that can really pack on the pounds. it's coming up right after this. ñ
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back at 7:43. this morning on "eat this, not that" the pitfalls to dieting you'll find at your local grocery store, david is the author of the "eat this not that" supermarket survival guide. good morning. >> great to see you. >> you want to pat yourself on the back for going to the grocery store because that means you're not going to the restaurants, right? >> here's the problem, there were 15,000 new food items introduced in 2011 alone. our grocery bills are going up 5%, our paychecks are getting smaller, you can't afford to make bad choices. this is all about quick and healthy and inexpensive choices every time. >> all right. so you're going to start us off with some refrigerated jimmy dean, what is this, pancakes and sausage? >> this is a breakfast bowl, one of their famous breakfast bowl. here's the thing, a bowl is for cereal, not pork products, okay? just remember that, that's a
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golden rule right there. the problem is it's over 700 calories. it's got more sugar than a snickers bar and the calorie equivalent is these 13 powder doughnuts, which, by the way, are delicious. so what you want to go with jimmy dean's delight menu. this is a canadian bacon egg sandwich. you'll save 500 calories. just to put that in perspective. do that every day, you lose a pound a week. >> over here some hostess pastries. >> this is the hostess pudding pie chocolate. now, the problem here is got six different typesf fat. it's like the lebron james of the pastry world. not going to win any championships. it is 520 calories. it is the calorie equivalent of these four bowls of cocoa crispies, also delicious. but here's what you want to do. get a single cupcake. leave your meal-size calorie load for actual meals. get this hostess cupcake and
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you'll save a couple hundred calories. >> everybody loves kraft macaroni and cheese. >> that is the original recipe which makes me wish for something wholly unoriginal. the recipe calls for half a stick of margarine. in addition to the refined carbs and the day glow orange. so this ends up at 400 calories being the calorie equivalent of these 72 original cheez-it crackers. go with the kraft deluxe mac, half the fat. you are cutting 80% of the fat out of that mac and cheese. same portion size with one smart swap. >> i like that. frozen pizzas. >> yes. this is a great training food for olympic athletes. not to eat but for the discus throw. it's got 800 calories, carl. it would be the equivalent of five of these slices of pizza hut pizza, which is more than half the pie.
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what you meant to do is double up on the 200 calorie pepperoni slices and even doubling up on it you're saving 400 calories. >> we'll finish up with some ice cream which has not melted yet. >> yes. i know this is a big choice during the olympics right here for the crew. this is the magnum double chocolate ice cream bar. it has the same name as a deadly weapon that does double the damage. enough said. 340 calories. it ends up being the equivalent of these ten dunkin donuts powdered munch kins. instead go from the breyer's smooth and dreamy triple chocolate chip ice cream. you're saving over 200 calories. >> when we leave you here, do you start eating all the bad stuff? >> with the crew. if the anchors don't go for it first. >> david, thanks a lot. up next, what were you watching in 2011? we'll reveal the top youtube videos of the year right after this.
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we're back now at 7:51 with the most watched youtube videos of 2011. there are a list of the top ten. number nine is one you probably web, the volkswagen commercial with the force. it had over 45 million views. >> little kids did that everywhere for weeks. >> it never worked for my kids,
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though. they could never get the car started. >> there's born this way, number eight. we want to keep going and look at the jack sparrow one. >> this involved michael bolton. >> viewed more than 60 million times. take a look. >> he goes off into the captain sparrow thing. it's hi lir u.larious. >> that had 60 million. this is the ultimate dog where basically this is seen more than 74 million times. the dog actually talks because he's upset. >> the owner tells him -- >> the maple kind. >> he's so cute. >> we should mention number one is rebecca black called "friday." this has a lot of parodies. more than 160 million views. >> lots of commercials launched based on that. >> just ahead bill clinton. >> first, your local news and weather.
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>> this is wbal-tv 11 news in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. here is kim dacey and traffic pulse 11. >> crash southbound on the harrisburg expressway at mount carmel road. that is something you want to watch for there. long green at heights road, we ever crashed there. del there, we have a crash moved off to the shoulder. southbound 97 and new cut road, crashed there to watch for. that has moved off to the shoulder, so that is good news
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for you. baltimore national pike, you can see is backing down a little bit on the outer loop. tapping the brakes all the way from security boulevard to baltimore national pike and beyond. harford road, and it's the inner and outer loop are moving ok for the time being. you could see intermittent delays there as well. ava, over to you. >> what a wacky morning it is. 54 at the inner harbor, 40 towards the western suburbs. hagerstown, 47. this is about as warm as it is going to get today. temperatures may be falling into the afternoon. possibility of showers. we saw some overnight. pretty isolated in nature. better chance for rain tonight into tomorrow. we move up into the mid-fifties
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for the highest the next couple of days. again, another storm comes in for the weekend. it has to get called for us to
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8:00 now on this tuesday morning. it's the 20th day of december, 2011. we've stepped outside to say hello to everyone who drove or was dragged out of bed to spend part of their morning with us. it's not as cold as i thought it was going to be. 46 degrees. it's been far colder weekday mornings this season. winter still a couple of days away. at any rate people are seeing hi and we're glad to see them. i'm ann curry along with carl quintanilla. >> they are fired up today. >> i know! we're so glad. meantime, you guys, we're so glad to have you here. we're going to be talking about books this morning.
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we're so lucky because we're going to be having former president bill clinton in the house. he's got recommendations on great books. you know he is a voracious reader. >> and author. >> that's right. and we'll find out what his picks are if you have some ideas that you need to buy christmas gifts for your family. what else is coming up? good news for a very special couple, very brave couple diagnosed with advanced stages of cancer within days of each other. they'll share that and some recent medical news for them in the live interview. >> sweet, sweet people. also coming up, we're going to find out more about how the italians celebrate christmas, specifically the seven fishes. why seven, how do you make them, do you to you eat them? is it for the omegas? we'll find out more about that. first let's get a check on some of the top stories. good morning, natalie. >> good morning, carl and ann and good morning, everyone. forecasters are warning that preholiday travel could be
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nearly impossible in the great plains today as heavy snow and fierce winds push deeper into the region. some areas could get up to 16 inches of snow two days before the official start of winter. at least six traffic deaths are blamed on the storm which has closed highways and filled hotels from northern new mexico to kansas. the house and senate are on a collision course over extending the payroll tax cut that expires at the end of the year. house republicans want a year-long extension of the tax cut. they'll be looking for a compromise today over the senate which approved a two-month extension before heading home for the holidays. foreign markets were mixed following monday's 100-point drop by the dow. courtney reagan is at the new york stock exchange. good morning to you, courtney. boy, has it been a rough kep couple of weeks. >> reporter: it's been a rough couple of months actually. today the telecom sector will likely be in focus. at&t is dropping its $39 billion bid to buy t-mobile in the face of pretty fierce objections from both competitors and u.s.
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regulators. meantime, investors will also be watching shares of bank of america. the stock closed below $5 for the first time in two years yesterday. and economic data is relatively light. a handful of consumer companies will be reporting earnings today. back to you, natalie. >> courtney reagan at the new york stock exchange, thank you. there are no signs of a power struggle in pyongyang as north koreans mourn the death of leader kim jong-il. the possibility of a contested transition of power has heightened tensions in the region but state media are indicating that kim's youngest son, kim jong-un, will succeed his father. lori barenson who spent 15 years in prison in peru will spend the holidays here with her family. this is her first time back. she flew home along with her 2-year-old son. she must return to peru to finish her parole. a pair of arizona teenagers are doing well today three days
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after they got lost while hiking in a steep canyon near phoenix. the 13 and 14-year-old cousins called 911. firefighters decided the best way to get the boys out was to use a long line from a helicopter. lucky for them. now for a look at what is trending today, our quick roundup of what has you talking online. jon bon jovi a top search on google. he has posted a twitter picture of himself complete with date and time to counter rumors of his death. the picture shows bon jovi holding a sign that reads "heaven looks a lot like new jersey." the kardashians have released their 2011 christmas card. big on yahoo! and it's an over the top glam photo of the a separate shot of kim shows off her slim figure. take a look at this adorable video catching fire on youtube. it features a pet cat stroking a crying baby and finally putting the baby to sleep. boy, i could have used that for
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my cats back when i had little, little ones. it is 8:04, let's go back outside to ann and carl. that is the cutest video. today's weather is brought to you by massage envy. massage envy gift cards make the perfect holiday gift. >> and good morning from aurora, colorado. we tried to get to garden city, kansas, and were stopped when they closed i-70 so we are here just outside of denver. it's a chilly morning, but i'll tell you, as we look at what's going on, our pick city of the day not a bad one for you today. we've got a pretty nice city, houston, texas. local 2, morning showers, 74 degrees. could be a thunderstorm or two as well. now, around the country, you can see that storm system making its way to the east. ahead of it we've got a lot of rain, behind it still a decent amount of snow and strong winds so we still have blizzard warnings stretching from texas all the way to kansas. look for showers also moving
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into the pacific northwest, lots of sunshine, a little breezy in new england. temperature only 39 for a high today in boston. that's what's going on around the >> good morning. we're waking up to cloudy skies. showers are in the forecast at any point in the day. and that's your latest weather. ann. >> by the way, all your fans out here are sending you a lot of love. anyway, coming up next, we've got some encouraging news for a young couple that was diagnosed, both of them, with cancer within days of each other. but the news is good, right after this.
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i can't wait for you to open this. i can't wait to open it. i think you're really gonna love it. i really think i'm gonna love it to. i can not wait. can't wait to open it. my, my hands are shaking. i'm so excited, i'm so excited... my whole body is vibrating with anticipation. open it, please! open it, you should open it, i'll open it. no, no. hellmann's and holiday leftovers become irresistibly creamy turkey casserole. real delicious hellmann's. make it real. make it different.
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vfor the ones that dab, the ones who smear,r king. the ones who spread them everywhere. for the late night cravers to the oddball eaters, the handful stuffers and the tiny biters. thicker cut for more flavor. new fries from burger king.
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♪ that is their song, rds of good cheer, om everywhere, ♪, ♪ne seem, ♪ filling the air, oh how they pound, ising the sound, ♪ ♪ o'er hill and dale, telling their tale, gaily they ring, ♪ ♪ while people sing, songs of good cheer, christmas is here. ♪ back at 8:10. this morning on "today's good news" the young mother and father who received life-threatening cancer diagnoses within a few days of each other. we'll catch up with them in a moment. first nbc's janet shamlian has their story. good morning. >> reporter: this is a heart-breaker that touched so many of us. elisa and nathan bond thought life was about perfect until a
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dual diagnosis of cancer. after we met them, their situation became even more dire. and yet if there is such thing as a christmas miracle, the bonds are believers. >> same thing. >> reporter: for elisa and nathan bond, it's as if they have already had christmas. >> good job! >> reporter: decorating with 2-year-old sadie is just the trimming on the tree. >> look at daddy. does daddy look silly? >> yeah. >> reporter: we met the brooklyn couple in april, not long after their lives were turned upside down. just nine days after nathan was diagnosed with stage three rectal cancer, elisa would receive an even worse diagnosis, stage four metastatic breast cancer. and yet from the start they seemed unflappable. elisa shaving her head even before her hair started falling out from chemo treatments. >> we are determined to get through this. >> reporter: despite that
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optimism, elisa's condition worsened this summer. they celebrated sadie's second birthday in september amid devastating news. the cancer had spread. >> the liver was the worst place. it had the most cancer. and that's not good. and then the brain tumors emerged. >> reporter: elisa lost her last shred of independence, she could no longer drive. treatment followed, chemotherapy and the drug per ce pchl tin. just days ago news from her doctor sharing news she had dreamed of but was unprepared to hear. >> they got the brain tumors. they're all gone. beyond that, i had a new pet scan and all my active cancer is gone. >> liver? >> liver. that's exactly what i said, liver? >> breast? >> breast. >> brain? >> brain. >> so what does this mean? >> i am what they call n.e.d.,
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no evidence of disease. it's the best news that i can get. >> reporter: elisa posted the news on the blog they use to update family and friends and, it turns out, thousands of well wishers the world over. >> i thank all of the people that wrote to us. >> the road is not over. >> no. >> but it looks well paved. >> yes. it looks like a sandy beach now as opposed to a rocky hill. yes. >> reporter: as for nathan, his surgery is scheduled for january and he says just routine checkups after that. the couple says they're looking forward to a long overdue vacation in 2012 and something elisa was sure she'd see, the end of the preschool year for sadie in the spring. >> janet, thank you for that. janet shanley an. elisa and nathan bond are here
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with us this morning. good morning to you. >> good morning. >> you would love to hear you just say it out loud, your health right now, how is it? >> it's great. again, my status is n.e.d., no evidence of disease, and with stage four cancer, that's the best diagnosis one can get. >> any idea how common this is for it to disappear within the first year? >> i have never -- no one ever mentioned it to me. i have a friend who after seven years of chemo was able to receive this news, but it's within a year so i think it's pretty remarkable. >> and how does it feel when you hear yourself say that, n.e.d.? >> yes, it's surreal. it's just as surreal as when i found out i had cancer. so it's wonderful. it's wonderful. >> no better way to put it. we saw sadie in the piece, who's beautiful, by the way. >> thank you. >> nathan, talk to me about sort of how she's absorbed whatever you would absorb as a 2-year-old in this family, this news. >> i think probably it's made her -- she's very sensitive.
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kids are very intuitive. she's handled it very well, remarkably well. we've tried to keep the home joyful. >> she knows mommy and daddy have boo-boos. >> yes. when one of us isn't home, she says mommy at the doctor? so she knows we're at a doctor but probably doesn't grasp quite what a doctor is. >> and janet got to it in the piece, but summer was tough. and losing your driving privileges is tough. >> it was almost worse than finding out about the cancer, because it was a real loss of independence for me. i am a driver. i love to drive. the minute i got my license, i was out the door. so i felt, you know, hamstrung, and that was almost worse in my everyday life than the cancer was. >> nathan, you've got one more surgery left. >> yep. >> so has watching how things have gone for her helped your own faith in your own battle? >> oh, yeah. it's made it a lot easier. i've kind of always just been waiting to get over my treatment so that i can be there to
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support her more and it definitely makes it a much more happy time to go into a surgery knowing it's all good news for her. >> and the response you got after your appearance on this show, obviously a huge outpouring of support. how big of a role do you think that played? >> oh, huge. we get e-mails every day, phone calls, letters, and a lot of the people will say i saw you on the "today" show, i've been following you since i saw you on the "today" show. i saw a clip of you on the "today" show so it really was an outpouring of support. >> well, we'll be thinking of you. we're so happy for you, elisa and nathan bond. thank you for sharing your story. coming up next, former president bill clinton and actress mindy kaling on the best books to put on your holiday list right after this. dad's a real cleaning machine. and look at mom whipping up some kraft homestyle mac & cheese. sure it's easy to make, but it looks like she's been busting her hump in the kitchen.
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[ doorbell rings ] ♪ let the fireworks begin. hi, it's so nice to see you. something smells good. [ male announcer ] kraft homestyle macaroni & cheese. cheesy noodles topped with golden-brown, breadcrumbs. you know you love it.
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and tea to choose from. it's the way to individually brew fresh, delicious coffee in under a minute. way to brew, hon.
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♪ hershey's drops. a lot of hershey's happiness in a little drop of chocolate. pure hershey's.
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well, this necklace is awesome. honey, you're getting a necklace! see what i mean? i'll surprise you. please. [ male announcer ] the only place to go for last-minute christmas gifts. walmart. "today" celebrates 2011 is brought to you by walmart. save money, live better, walmart. >> back now at 8:20 as "today celebrates 2011." and this morning the best books for your holiday list. we're pleased to have two avid readers and best-selling authors and they include former president bill clinton. he's the author of "back to work, why we need smart government for a strong economy" and mindy kaling who stars on nbc's "the office" and is the
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author of "is everyone hanging out without me?" can you believe we're sitting in the presence of the president here this morning? >> unbelievable. >> before we actually get to the list of books, let me quickly get your take on how concerned we should be about the stabilization in north korea given the events of kim jong-il's passing? >> well, i think we should be concerned, but i think the president did the right thing. he called the president of south korea, hillary met with the foreign minister of japan and the foreign minister of south korea and they basically want to do nothing now so that there's no provocation and they have time to sort it out. kim jong-il's son is quite young. when i went there a couple of years ago to bring the two american journalists home, i didn't meet him. so they were grooming him. what you don't want is for the military, which has overwhelming influence, to feel that they have to do something radical to
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reassert their control. and i just think we ought to let them sort i out and make the argument we've been making now for a long time, which is they ought to give up their nuclear power and selling military technology and let us work with them to grow food and create factories and create broadly shared prosperity. >> we appreciate your perspective on that. we could go on about that but we do have to get to these books. let's do that. first of all, let's talk about the importance of books. i know you're such an avid reader. why do you think they are a good thing to give someone as a gift? >> because it makes you think. >> there you are. >> it makes you feel and it gives you time where it's intensely personal, but you're completely involved. it's a wonderful sort of way to get away from the helter-skelter of your life and throw yourself into something else, and you can always be growing. when hillary's mom died recently at 92, she was reading this
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amazing book about what happens to the brain and the psyche if you lose one of your faculties. by the guy that wrote -- oliver sachs. so he's written this new book. my 92-year-old mother-in-law, and she stayed young doing it. >> so that is what it's really about, keeping your mind open and thriving. mindy, ladies first, let's go down your list. you have your top five includes 11 11-12-63 by stephen king, bossypants by tina fey. lady gaga, a photo book by terry richardson, my father's daughter by gwyneth paltrow and alexander mcqueen, savage beauty a visual feast by andrew bolten. >> i'd love to read them.
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>> mindy, let's ask you about bossypants because that's the book you really would put on the top of the list. >> well, tina fey is the funniest person, i think, that i know. she's so funny, the book is so inspirational. it's part memoir and off her work on "saturday night live." to be a writer, performer, comedian on nbc, it behooves me to read a book like that. >> i bet she loves that you read that and looked at president clinton. >> you like comedy, so yeah. >> i think she is so funny. >> let's go to your list, president clinton. your top choices include in order jerusalem, a biography of a city by simon montefiore, lincoln, which is a prize-winning portrait by david herbert donald. meditations, a spiritual journal by marcus aurelius, the way of the world by david fromkin and the cure at troy, which is a
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hero's tale, by seamus henley. i don't know if i get all that correctly out, but i feel smarter. >> i didn't see his list when i made my list. marcus aurelius is one of your favorite authors. >> you read this every year? >> mm-hmm. and it's short. you can read it, it doesn't take long. the thing about marcus aurelius, he was deeply spiritual and understood that life required balance. and that's really important in the world we live in today. as an emperor he had absolute power, and this book is in part about the things he wouldn't do. and that's really important. you know, we're having a presidential election and one of the things i look at, every time an election comes along, i think about things that you could do
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that you wouldn't do. you know, i thought about it when i was president, when i had options a, b and c, are there any i think i shouldn't do and i >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. let's check on the morning commute with kim dacey. >> we still have an accident in baltimore county. that is at long green pike. watch out for that as you are traveling. in howard county, 108, we have a reporter crashed there. possibly a car fire. -- we have a report of a crash there, possibly a car fire. 14 minutes on the out live on the northeast corner. the debt at delay on 95
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southbound. -- bit of that delay i-95 southbound. look outside on the west side of the beltway. delays it earlier are easing. switching over to a levy of the topside of the beltway at harford road, looking very nice. in an outer lips are moving fine. ava as a check of the forecast. >> what an odd morning in has been. we started off near 50 degrees in many areas of the state. these are basically the high temperatures today. it is only going to get colder into the afternoon. it will take a while for temperatures to drop off. isolated showers a possibility. chance for rain tonight into tomorrow. another storm is a possibility even this weekend. temperatures now look warm
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enough to stay rain. we cannot rule out the possibility of a mixed with snow. >> we will have another update at 8:55.
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8:30 now on this tuesday morning, the 20th of december. 2011. one of the final days of our 18th annual holiday toy drive. and guess who? that's right, music hall of famer carole king is now collecting donations from our crowd this morning. she is sweet to do that. she's also here and will be singing for us from her new
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holiday album and the performance is coming up later in this half hour. we'll also have bill clinton sticking around and also talking about books which is something a lot of people are giving out for the holidays. also coming up this morning, we'll be talking about last-minute holiday help when it comes to shopping and cooking, right? >> right. that's right. >> you know, it's christmas time when the scattas come. >> and the feast of the seven fishes. plus if you've waited to wrap up your shopping we'll tell you where to find the best sales out there and steals and deals. jill martin add one more edition for those last-minute shoppers. first let's get out to aurora, colorado, where al has been bringing us the lead story of the morning, hey, al. >> hey, guys, how are you? that's right. we'll continue to see that low pressure pull out of the plains and wrap snow around it.
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as it does, it's going to start to weaken, that's the good news. let's show you our weather map for today and you'll see we have that storm system wrapping itself around, the rain ahead of it and some of the rain could be heavy at times through the mississippi river valley. sunny, chilly in new england. we're looking at showers moving into the pacific northwest. as we move on into tomorrow, that rain makes its way further east. we expect to see sunny and warm conditions down in florida. that's where we all wish we were right now. we're looking at frigid conditions making their way across the plains. sunny skies continue along the west coast. that's what's going on aro >> good morning. we have cloudy skies. scattered showers are in the forecast throughout the day. forecast throughout the day. they will
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and don't forget you can check your weather any time of the day or night, go to the weather channel on cable or weather.com online. carl. >> thanks very much, al. coming up next, a lot more with former president bill clinton. but first, this is "today" on nbc. truly a
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biography of the city.
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so many books about jerusalem have been written from the perspective of judaism or christianity or islam and there's plenty to go around there. but he really tries to tell you what the life of the city has been like from the temples of david and solomon through bethlehem, you know, is right next door, how important it was to christians, how it was the great scene of fighting in the crusades and why the dome of the rock from which the muslims believe muhammed ascended into heaven, why it means so much to everybody and why it's so spectacular. you fall in love with the city and it breaks your heart that people can't make peace over it because it's a treasure. it's a wonderful book. >> a biography of the city, you make it so impossible not to pick that up. but i want to also ask you about something that you said in september. you said when everyone else counted gingrich out, you did
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not. >> no. >> you said don't count him out. you also, having worked with him, i'm wanting to know putting aside politics, do you see newt gingrich as a man who has the temperament, the leadership qualities to be president of the united states? >> that's what the presidential election is for. you really never -- you find out a lot about people in the crucible of battle and they're all turning on him now and running all these negative ads. it's funny, they're basically doing to each other in a serial way what they did to the democrats in 2010. and then they fight back and one rises and one falls. it's going to be interesting, because it appears that right now he or governor romney have the edge. the one with the greatest resilience, with the ability to come back from adversity will probably prevail. perhaps one of the others will
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rise. but i think that will be the test. that's what these elections are for. they tell you a lot about people. and when you're just getting the living daylights pounded out of you and people count you out and you were down, gosh, i was pronounced dead more times than a cat has lives in '92, that's when you find the something people want in a president. >> so as we move forward, then, do you believe that gingrich deserved the credit that he's taking for balancing the budget when you were president? >> not really. but i think he did work with me to pass some good budgets. we had the balanced budget act in 1996 and we, unlike some since then, we got our work done on time and i had a decent working relationship with him. but the vast lion's share of balancing the budget was done by the budget in 1993 that he led the opposition to. 90% of the budget was balanced
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before the balanced budget act was ever passed. so i noticed the other day one of the republicans was saying from '96 on the government's tax cuts and investments actually added $10 billion to the debt. that's true, but the reason is it didn't stop us from balancing the budget and running four surpluses because of what we did in '93. but if i were in his position, i would be saying that because it is true that we worked in a bipartisan fashion to pass five budgets and they worked out pretty well for the american people. >> i hope you don't mind another left turn because i'm going back to the books and i want to ask you about a book about a president, about abraham lincoln, and that's one of your recommendations. i'm wondering, because so many books have been written about this great man why you chose this one written by david herbert donald. >> well, first of all, he was a magnificent historian who died in his late 80s a couple of years ago. i knew him and admired him.
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but i've read just about all the lincoln biographies. and i thought his was special in its fidelity to the facts, his understanding of lincoln's political significance and his understanding of his fundamental humanity. it has everything. it's not a book that's single faceted. this is a book you could read if you wanted to read a novel. this is a book that you could read if you were a serious historian. this is a book you could read if you wanted to understand war and how it's conducted. it's an astonishing book. and it came along near the end of donald's career and he was filled full of juice. and he just -- he painted a magnificent portrait of president lincoln. >> the way of the world which is a story of humanity, which is a very interesting topic in itself. what does that mean exactly? >> well, this is a book i read several years ago but i always recommended to people. if you read it, it's like a one-volume short history of
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civilization, progress and setbacks and progress and how the world goes forward. i always tell people to read that and the book i recommended for years, "nonzero" by robert wright which explains how we avoid destroying ourselves at the last minute. but fromkin's book is fascinating. if you want to understand big historical events and how they shape the world we live in today, it's the best one volume that i know. >> do you remember who it was who first made you see books as a ticket to a life? >> oh, yeah. my grandparents, neither of them had a great deal of education, had me reading little dick and jane readers when i was 3 and 4 years old. by the time i was in grade school, i had two or three friends and we would race each other to see how many books we could read. then i went to the local library and a friend of mine's mother was always there volunteering and she would tell me things to
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read. and i had a whole period when i was 8 or 9 when i read every biography of every indian chief that america ever produced and i tried to learn about the native americans. and it always stayed with me. i love it. i've always got two or three books i'm reading. i'm trying to finish now the truly magnificent biography of george washington, which i think anybody who wants to understand how we got started, should read. >> it seems like a lot of what you read are biographies. you want to read about the lives of people. >> i do. >> do they 55 ygive you a road or what that makes you so interested? >> because you get to see the history and the personal side of it at the same time, the interplay, i like it. i also read a lot of crime novels. >> do you really? >> yeah. >> are you a james patterson reader? >> i do. i like the alex cross series.
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i've read all of sue graftin's novels. i've read all of daniel silva's novels. the hero is my favorite character in children. i've read all of lee childs' novels. i just devour them, i've got one with me all the time. >> you may not have heard there's a man al roker who writes crime fiction actually now. he's on the second book. i'll send you a copy. >> i'll read it. they're my adrenaline junky books. >> all right. i promise i will put it in the mail to you. former president bill clinton, thank you so much for your perspective on so many of these great topics. and for parents now who are trying to get their kids to read, you're obviously an example of why we should do it. >> now you've got the kindle and the facebook and the nook and the kindle and the ipad and the nook. people can read even if they don't have a lot of space in their house. you can buy the books for less money. and it ought to lead to an explosion of learning and literacy in our country. it will be good for us.
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>> well said. bill clinton, thank you again. still ahead, we have a special holiday performance by none other than carole king. stick around. but first, this is "today" on nbc.
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today's holiday gift guide is brought to you by target. this holiday, santa has elves, you have target. >> this morning on "today's holiday gift guide" last-minute deals. according to the american research group, one out of four americans still have some holiday shopping to do and that procrastination could lead to big savings. leslie jane seymour is the editor and chief of "more" magazine and joins us with some of those deals. >> yes, we're all naughty sometimes, right? >> you have an idea. you say when you go into the store ask the clerk. >> it's really interesting. everybody is doing sales right now. a lot of things are happening ad hoc as the day progresses.
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i walked into one place and he said 30% off today. every single day something new is happening so go in and ask. if you don't see a sign, ask the sales clerk, ask up at the cashier desk. >> electronics are always sgluj awesome. but this year really big sales going on. what's really fabulous is look at these great laptop computers. there are six new laptops coming out every single day so there's a lot of pressure on laptops. what's interesting, these are under $400. you can be a hero. what's really amazing, if you go to decide.com which is online, it's a shopping service which you can enter the name of what you're looking for and it will tell you when to buy it and where to buy it locally and whether to buy it now or after christmas. >> video games. >> these are u up to $20 off. >> clothing and apparel. you've got some sweaters. >> land's end, 50% off at sears. men's and women's coats which
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are great at penney's. who knew this stuff that you can wear right now is available and on sale. this was never the case before. but they want you to do something practical and smart. >> i've got to imagine with the warmer weather, retailers have a ton of warm clothes that have not sold. >> exactly. so we've got to move it out. >> how about kids clothes? >> what's really great, this is your moment you can disappoint every child you know. this is that moment where you say, oh, no, they got me clothing, thank you. but what's great about it is this is carter's sleepwear, 60% off pjs. oshkosh is up to 70% off. and these are great things. we want to be practical today. everybody is sort of tired of just stuff. so if you really want to do great things for kids and for the parents, maybe they're going to remember you as the mean old uncle, but it's great stuff. >> this is the part where we have all the men tune in and perk up their ears, because jewelry. some of the discounts on jewelry
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are unbelievable. >> what's interesting is the jewelry makers know that you guys have a tendency to wait until the last minute. >> i have no idea what you're talking about. >> they want to bring you in anyway. so what's so interesting is we found these at amazon, 70% off selected items. >> 70? >> 7-0. and at amazon, you can also go into different retail stores and look as well. but we were shocked. amazon? i thought i was buying books and things. no, i can buy jewelry. >> my experience with my wife, if the jewelry doesn't work, a shoe will. >> no one thinks as shoes as something you would give. what's so interesting is with a place like zappos, look at these, these are designer boots, designer shoes, 30% off. what's great is you can get free shipping and you can order up until the 23rd at 1:00 p.m. and they will let you get it on christmas day. and what's great is you can always -- you get the wrong size, you can always exchange it at the last minute. women are used to doing this. you can be a hero. >> and cashmere throws? >> this is restoration hardware.
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these are down from $300 to $199, cashmere. it's beautiful, it's last minute and look at the cute little water bottle warmer. >> can you come shopping with me? we'll leave right after the show. >> i hear you're going to be in trouble if i don't, right? >> thank you, leslie. up next, holiday music from the great carole king. but first this is "today" on nbc.
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the toyota concert series on "today," brought to you by toyota. >> back now at 8:52 with music legend carole king. she put on a terrific concert on our plaza just before thanksgiving. well, now she's out with a new holiday album called, appropriately enough, "a holiday carol." good morning to you. >> i can never resist a bad pun. >> i liked it. by the way, after all the years you've given us music, after all of the albums, after all of the grammys, how could it be possible that this is your first holiday album? what took you so long? >> well, i've been working on my book which will be published next april called "a natural woman" but i daughter took the reins and produced this. it would not have happened otherwise. >> what was it like to work with your daughter, louise?
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>> she just has a great sensibility of repertoire. she has a bigger repertoire of favorites that i do. she brought so many unusual songs to this. not all are actually christmas songs. there's the hannukah prayer, which we used to sing, which my parents sang to me, and she and her son, my grandson, are on it singing, so it just -- she just brought a great sensibility. >> now, about this memoir you just mentioned, can you tell us anything more about it? are you done writing it? is it deeply revealing? what do you want to say about it this morning? >> i do talk about things that people may or may not know or think they know. but it's fun, and i'm at the stage where i'm just completing the audio book. oh, my god, that was so much fun to be in a studio but not doing the usual. >> all right. carole king, we love you. i know you're about to sing "have yourself a merry little christmas," we will have a better one because you're here.
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carole king. ♪ have yourself a merry little christmas ♪ ♪ let your heart be light ♪ from now on, our troubles will be out of sight ♪ ♪ have yourself a merry little christmas ♪ ♪ make the yuletide gay ♪ from now on our troubles will be miles away ♪
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♪ here we are as in olden days ♪ happy golden days of yore ♪ faithful friends who are dear to us ♪ ♪ gather near to us once more ♪ through the years we all will be together ♪ ♪ if the fates allow ♪ hang a shining star upon the highest bough ♪ ♪ and have yourself a merry
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little christmas now ♪ merry christmas. >> happy holidays, carole king, thank you. again, the album is called "a holiday carole." we're back after this. >> live, local, latebreaking. this is wbal-tv 11 news today in baltimore. >> good morning. i am mindy basara. baltimore county police are reviewing surveillance video in the hopes of tracking down the person responsible for a deadly shooting at towsontown center mall. officers found the victim on a sidewalk outside of nordstrom last night.
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police canvassed the ball but found no suspects.
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>> the morning started off a very mild, in the upper 40's and 50's. we will stay that way through the mid-part of the day. high temperatures -- scattered showers are a possibility. more rain likely tomorrow. this week and we could see more rain. >> we will have another weather update at 9:25.
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